Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown Movie Poster Image
Sequel with amateur acting, weak story, much MMA violence.
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 104 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No positive messages. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive role models. 


Constant MMA violence. Blood. Broken bones. A drunk man outside of a strip club attacks people with a broken bottle before getting knocked out by one of the protagonists. Police officers attempt to assault a handcuffed African American man. Some bullying: Three young men physically and verbally bully a young man who works in a comic book store. 


Brief female nudity, breasts. Sex scene, with body parts strategically covered by hair, camera angles. One of the protagonists autographs a woman's breast. The word "tap" used as innuendo. When it's discovered that the father of a protagonist is gay, characters make various jokes and references to anal sex. Some scenes in a strip club: Women dance in bra and panties. A receptionist in a doctor's office is overheard on the phone saying "those [MMA] guys can have me any day of the week." 


Constant profanity. "F--k" and variations used dozens of times. "S--t," "d--k," "a--hole," "bitch," "blows," "douche bag." A white police officer frequently threatens to take an African American's "black ass" to jail. References and jokes about anal sex when it's discovered that the father of one of the protagonists is gay. 


Abita Beer signage. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking in bars, strip clubs, and at the MMA event. A severely drunk man outside a strip club attacks the owner, dancers, and clientele with a broken bottle. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown is a 2011 movie in which four young men from different walks of life decide to compete in an MMA "beatdown." It's not a direct sequel to the 2008 Never Back Down. It should surprise no one that there's constant MMA-style violence: punching and kicking, boxing and wrestling, blood and broken bones. There's also brief female nudity (breasts), and a sex scene in which all private parts are strategically covered by long hair or camera angles. When it's discovered that the father of one of the fighters came out of the closet as gay and left his family because of it, jokes and references to homosexual stereotypes and anal sex are made at the fighter's expense, shown to be an easy way to get him riled up, and while there seems to be some acceptance toward the end of his father, there's a general intolerance on display throughout the movie. There's constant profanity, including regular uses of "f--k" and its variations. A severely drunk man outside a strip club attacks the owner, dancers, and clientele with a broken bottle. Overall, this is a low-budget movie best enjoyed by fans of MMA. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJames79 February 22, 2021

Good movie, appropriate for most kids.

This film was really good, I watched it with my 9 year old kid, he really liked it, and he can stand most movies.
Teen, 15 years old Written byDayDay69 June 8, 2021

What's the story?

In NEVER BACK DOWN  2: THE BEATDOWN, Mike has been kicked off the wrestling team after beating up a rival and his coach: The rival had joked about Mike's dad coming out as gay. Zack is a boxer who has been told that after getting beaten up during his last match, he has a detached retina -- and if he keeps fighting, he'll go blind. While going to school, Tim works full-time trying to help his mother -- who has now taken work in a strip club -- to keep their house after his father died. And Justin has a bad MySpace emo haircut and works in a comic book store, thus making him the target of bullies in the neighborhood. When Mike starts college, he meets Max, who is trying to organize and promote an MMA "Beatdown" event. Max encourages Mike and Zack to find the best trainer around, Case Walker, who teaches mixed martial arts in a vacant lot. Case is a tough-as-nails trainer who will need at least one montage to get these four guys in MMA-fighting shape. But Case has issues of his own, to say nothing of the in-fighting between the four trainees, and as the night of the "Beatdown" looms ever closer, each fighter must come to grips with his weaknesses as well as his strengths as they all prepare to settle their disagreements once and for all inside the cage.  

Is it any good?

If only the actors in this sequel had spent a little less time in the gym and more time in the Drama Club. If only the filmmakers spent less time on the fight scenes and more on the fundamentals of scriptwriting, character development, and conflict. If only the production values were less amateurish. Then maybe Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown could have been something entertaining for those who aren't superfans of MMA. But even then, probably not. Aside from the demographic fond of saying, "'Sup, brah?" in a nonironic fashion, it's hard to imagine anyone else seeing this as anything more than cheesy B movie fare. 

While the dyed-black emo haircut of one of the characters is certainly dated, what's even more dated is the overall attitudes everyone has over the fact that the father of one of the lead characters has come out as gay after leaving his family. While the movie attempts to show that Mike isn't mad that his father is gay -- rather, he's mad that he left his family -- it's clear throughout that Mike is triggered by the shame he feels that his father is gay. This is one of at least five secondary stories that never really gets resolved. This won't matter to those who just want to see a lot of mixed martial arts, but it does severely limit any interest in this movie beyond those who are already fans of MMA. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sports movies. How does Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown compare to other sports movies? 

  • How does this movie address the issue of a father coming out as gay? 

  • Was the violence necessary for this movie, or did it seem like a gratuitous gimmick to keep the audience entertained? 

Movie details

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Themes & Topics

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